But there’s so much to do!

Hi friends. Well, it’s the end of another week which means another post! I was thinking about what today’s topic could be, as it could possible relate to some of the previous posts — you know, about making changes, big or small. I was going through my home office notes for ideas and came across one of my journals where I had done some big thinkin’.

Before I took the giant step regarding my job, I found in this journal the lists made of pros and cons for resigning — an initial list, another two months after list #1, and two more spaced out over a year-long period. I did some serious ‘shop and compare’ing of what my priorities were before deciding what to do.

This reminded me that we ALL should be using lists. For all sorts of life stuff.

To the readers who are already saying “Not me. I can do it all! EVERYTHING, I TELL YOU!”

What now?!

I’m impressed you are capable of having such power over life. You also might be the individuals who don’t realize this makes you more like our bone-in-da-nose friend here, than to today’s Joe/Jane. Remember him? He thought he could battle a smilodon and win? We’ll come back to that.

The fact is, we live in a world that glorifies being busy. Some people take pleasure in chaos. Others tend to get a bit flummoxed when there is a lot on our plates. We feel like we either don’t know where to begin, or just can’t do it, period.

*Sidenote: I am also enjoying that you are looking up what a smilodon is.*

How’s that state of frenzy and panic working out? Mhmm. Thought so.

Did you write it all down, prioritizing each with “someone will not get fed tonight if I don’t accomplish this now” to “those cat videos I was scrolling through and that Facebook quiz to find out what kind of cheese I am can probably wait.”

No? Lemme guess what happened.

Your friend/supervisor/spouse/WHOEVER, gets ticked off because you are trying to check off your non-existent to-do list and their thing was apparently less important than you finding out you are dill havarti. 

You ran at your targets unprepared and hoped for the best. This system is guaranteed to become a hot mess you and they didn’t want or need.

Let’s go back to my caveman example.

I shall call him…Stone. (Because it works for the time period. And I listened to a lot of Pearl Jam in my youth.)

Stone needs to feed and clothe his cave family. He has been hauling rocks all day and lost track of time. (Did telling time exist yet? Anyhow. Let’s continue.) As the sun starts to set, he looks up and sees an animal in the distance. Immediately seizing his club, he madly runs across the barren landscape to kill and claim it. However, by the time he reaches the giant beast he is exhausted, and in the flash of time it takes for him to see its teeth and claws? He? Is now the prey. 

I like spontaneity as much as the next guy. But you know what I appreciate more? PLANNING. If Stone had thought ahead on how he was going to find the next week of meals, he might be enjoying them with his family instead of becoming prehistoric lunchmeat.

Planning, which leads to effective use of time, then lends to opportunities to cycle back to actually being able to do MORE of the spontaneous, wanted activities!

That is why some wonderful person created lists.

Pen and paper have been around almost as long as our cave buddy has, so y’all have no excuse not to get writing. Just jot-jot-jot down what’s happenin’ today, tomorrow, this week…heck, even think a year ahead like I did with my pro/cons lists. If it’s stuff you complete in a shorter period, scratch each out after. Maybe even crumple up the page when all is done.

Sweet, sweet, crinkly satisfaction.

Are you still with me? I hear you mumbling “thanks for wasting my time reading something so obvious.”

But here’s the thing. If it WERE obvious and EVERYONE was doing this, I wouldn’t be writing about it.

Set priorities. Multi-task. Maybe you can delegate if someone else around you knows how to do it and is available to help.

I’m a fan of using the Reminders app on my mobile in addition to the old-fashioned way: Set each with a date and time to pop up onscreen, or allot specific start and end times for some tasks, like writing. I can lose an entire afternoon to edits if I’m not paying attention. (Hey, lists aren’t foolproof — I forget stuff. But they’re still better than nothing at all!)

I’m pretty confident you’ll dig how much easier it makes things once you get into the habit. Making changes is a good thing! And the items on your lists don’t have to be just chores; add bits like “lunch date at 1!” or “swimsuit shopping for Mexico!”

It’s been proven a habit only takes two weeks to form one (making lists, yay!) or to lose one (popcorn for dinner 3x/week is apparently not recommended. Damn.) 

We can’t say we aren’t accountable for something when it’s right in front of us, in our own handwriting. I’m aware there are only so many hours in a day and unexpected things will happen, meaning we need to amend and move items to the next day or two. That’s cool. Progress not perfection, y’all.

Just be smart about what really CAN wait, and what shouldn’t have to. 

Xx, Stace.

Starting Over.

I quit my job on January 3rd, 2018.

Part of me is still amazed I did, so it bears repeating. Five weeks after my 41st birthday, I quit my safe Monday-to-Friday job. For a few reasons. I didn’t feel fulfilled anymore. My mental and physical health were taking a hit, and as a result I was directed by my phyisician to be on stress leave. More than once.

Let’s be clear; I didn’t hate my job. However, I didn’t want to move to another position or department. I couldn’t see myself doing the same tasks for another 20 years. I’m good at my job (great, actually *toot-tooting own horn*) but it was no longer enough.

And you know what? That’s okay.

This was not a hasty decision. Some who know me are probably rolling their eyes and picking their jaws off the ground. The reactions have been mixed, but after the initial shock wore off I was pleased to hear the majority leaned to commenting “You’re so brave! I wish I could quit my job, too.”

Note: I’m not a fool. This is not my first resignation. I have had all sorts of jobs and I stayed at this one for nine years. Nine! That is a staggering number for this gal. I even demoted myself a year ago to the previous role I had at this employer as an alternative to resigning back then. See? Not done in haste. But when the environment and tasks were still a detriment to my mental and physical wellbeing, it was time to shake things up.

Glow Lotus

We only get one shot at this life thing.

We get into this familiarity with our lives. When we aren’t at our 40+ hours per week gig, what are we doing? Usually all the necessary grownup stuff like laundry, groceries, keeping small humans alive and happy. You know what else we’re doing? When all those chores are rounded up, and before we get to start doing them all over again the next day? A whole lot of us are surfing Instagram, and Pinterest, and Facebook… whatever social-media-rabbit-hole we can fall down, looking at the lives of people who are doing real, exciting, scary, and awesome stuff. Traveling, becoming entrepreneurs, expanding horizons.

I see you there. I do it, too. The difference is I finally had my “a-ha moment”. I asked myself two questions:

  • “When did the size of my income determine I’d ‘made’ it?”
  • “I sold my house a year ago to DO more, BE more, LIVE more. Uh…when am I going to actually get busy with that?”

Heads up, people.

You can make more money. You cannot make more time.

Sure I’m well aware I’m giving up the familiar — The Safety Net. There will be no more vacation weeks, the understanding supervisors when I’m unwell, the pension years from now when I permanently leave the cubicle life.

Fear not — I’m not going to live in a tent down by the river. I know I still need a job to pay my bills. I just want a different one; ideally working face to face with people in some ‘helping’ capacity. Maybe I’ll even end up creating a job myself.

This is what I want you to consider. There  is no more January 2018 when February 2018 arrives. No more “I’ll do that in my 30’s, when my other stuff is sorted” on your 41st birthday.

Last year was full of bad news and loss and our world, let’s be real,  is a pretty sketchy place nowadays. (Like WTF, Mother Nature. Add to that the world “leaders” bullying each other in the proverbial sandbox.) 

Lots of people won’t get their Someday.

For health reasons, or family obligation, or, the most likely culprit — because of FEAR. Wanting a life of fulfillment is not greedy, silly, stupid, or radical. We each deserve to have a heart of happiness! For me, leaving the “safe” job to seek new adventures, new opportunities, and new ways to find that fulfillment felt pretty darn fabulous.

Do you follow the show This Is Us? The episode where Randall finally has a breakdown? Yeah. THATHe quits after taking stress leave. Exactly what I did! I was on yet another stress leave in December *my fourth in two years* and then I came back and worked 2 shifts. You know what went down on shift number three? I quit. HELL TO THE YES, I QUIT.

*Insert rad ‘kerplooey’ image here.* Randall becomes happier, healthier, more involved with his wife, his daughters, his other family members. He seeks out new opportunities. Randall found his GLOW, ladies and gentlemen. Sign me up for that shiz.

Sure, this might be considered brave. And hell yes, some would call it terrifying. I don’t have a live-in partner supplementing any lost wages. But here’s the thing — I’m very aware of my emotions, finally. I’m checking in with me. And if I don’t take the leap? I’ll never know what could have been. That’s much more terrifying than staying the same.

Xx, Stace.

Glow Lotus
Preach, Ayn. Spark. Glow. Let’s do this.